Then USFS needs to do a better job of development and choosing who goes to internationals based on summer competitions leading up to the season - Gracie had three of the biggest scores over the summer before her Junior National title but only got a JGP when someone who they had slotted ahead of her tanked in their first event (and based on summer scores, it should have been apparent that was going to happen!!).
Gracie is figuring it out and she's had exactly FIVE Senior international events under her belt and has gotten through some of the learning curve. For example, she could have had a fall in the SP on the Lutz but she's learned to fight for it.
Here are some of Christina's comments after 4CC (from Flade's article):
“I’m really happy with my short, but my long was definitely not my best,” noted Gao. She already set her eyes on the future: “My posture and the way I present on the ice, my overall presence, can be improved a lot. I want to make everything strong and much better so that when I skate, I can be the best, and even if I mess up a little bit, I’m still near the top.”
I find this encouraging. Definitely shows that Christina knows where she needs to improve and fully intends to work on those areas. Which is really all we can ask of a skater.
Christina Gao balances Harvard education, Olympic dream
Sycamore grad to represent U.S. in Four Continents Championship
(Apologies if this article already was posted somewhere on GS days ago.
Gao tweeted a link to it today, although it was published to coincide with Four Continents.)
I think Christina would do very well skating to On my own from Les Mis. Maybe she will!
To be honest, there's no way Gao can beat either Gold or Zawadzki if they hit their programs. She's not beating Ashley, either. If Nagasu wasn't sick and rotated her jumps she'd have easily passed Gao at Nationals.
Gao doesn't do anything exceptionally well enough to put her past those other skaters. Her jumps and spins are both below average even by US standards (which is actually a pretty high standard) and her skating skills are nothing to rave about. Her programs are empty, and her line could be better if she'd learn how to keep her legs straight when they aren't on the ice.
IF she wants to make the Olympic team, she's going to need them to make some serious mistakes to get there, and for some reason I don't see that happening. Olympic Year seems to be when the top 4-6 skaters all "bring it at Nationals" and people argue about whether the Bronze or Pewter medalist was screwed or not :-P If Wagner, Gold, and Zawadzki bring it at Nationals next year (nevermind Nagasu and perhaps even Caroline Zhang), then Gao isn't even getting a Pewter medal.
Putting Bobek in the same "category" as... Debbie Thomas seriously? The judges actually loved Bobek. If they didn't, she wouldn't have won a Medal at worlds. She was just a headcase. She has fabulous line, fabulous extension. She was doing spirals with full split back in 96 or before. She had a fantastic Layback. What plagued Bobek was inconsistency with the jumps - especially that Lutz.
Debbie Thomas also had great line and some of the best spin positions ever. She had great extension.
The fact that one skater is built differently than another doesn't categorize them as anything. It's almost (but not quite :-P ) upsetting to see people lumping skaters together like that. There is no "typical US skater" anymore than there is a typical JPN or Typical RUS skater type.
Last edited by SkateNater; 02-18-2013 at 03:48 PM.